Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Strawberry Pushup Popsicles


These pushup popsicle molds work great for freezing leftover smoothies, juice, and tea concoctions. My three year old is going through a phase where she doesn't want to drink smoothies (unless of course they have chocolate in them like my Red Velvet Cake Smoothie) but she does love eating a popsicle. When she was a baby, I loved using these Mini Ice Lolly Set but now she is bigger these Sunsella Mighty Popsare amazing! You can fill one of them, pop on the lid, and freeze. Or you can make a whole batch! I think they are a lot more convenient than regular popsicle molds and they are BPA free and dishwasher safe!

We had a garage sale this last weekend with my sister and her three kids. It was so fun yet exhausting! These were a sweet treat on one of the days. I was particularly tickled when my two year old nephew asked me if I could keep the rest of his "warm" so he could enjoy it later. I had to do a little bit of explaining to him on that one. It was nice to take a break and help him out. Goodness, children are so precious! And often times I get caught up in the moment or in my busy schedule and forget to enjoy them.

So I hope these strawberry pushup popsicles find you enjoying a little respite with your family.

Strawberry Pushup Popsicles
4 cups strawberries (frozen if fresh is not available), washed and stems removed
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or coconut milk (coconut water is also a great alternative to replenish electrolytes)
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (I ordered these juicy fellows)
2-3 TB agave, honey or maple syrup (optional)

Blend all ingredients together. Pour into popsicle molds (I used these Sunsella Mighty Pops) and freeze. When ready to enjoy, remove the popsicle mold from freezer and the bottom end under hot water for 30 seconds. These babies will pop right out after!

Alternatively, if you don't have a blender. You can soften the strawberries by cooking them in 2 TB water for 8-10 minutes and then mashing everything together.

Enjoy! And beat the heat!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Best Way to Eat Heirloom Tomatoes


And the simplest...

Summer brings the bright taste of ripe tomatoes and there is no better way to enjoy these fresh jewels but cut in chunks and sprinkled with chopped fresh basil and coarse sea salt.

Oh and a little extra virgin olive oil.



Of course, smell them first. YUMMM!
 
Cue summer.

To enjoy...
Heirloom Tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil (straight from your herb garden preferably!)
Couple Pinches of Coarse Sea Salt (I used smoked sea salt from Mountain Rose Herbs)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferably Spanish)

Chop basil. Cut the tomatoes into chunks (or slices if you prefer). Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped basil. Drizzle with Olive Oil. Serve!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Natural Baby Deals on Amazon

It's the season of babies and baby showers. I've rounded up a couple of deals on Amazon to help you save whether you are having a little bundle of joy or putting together a gift for someone who is.

I'll be sharing my recipe for baby shampoo and baby oil in future posts but for now I thought I would post a few baby items to stock up on while they are on sale.



Nurtured by Nature Environmentally-Sensitive Diapers, Size 1, 160 Count
The size one diapers are on sale for $26.76 but if you subscribe and save with an amazon prime account (try it free here), you pay only $21.41 ($0.13 a diaper). Decent price for natural diapers! (The best deal is for the size 1 diapers at this time).


Seventh Generation Thick & Strong Free and Clear Baby Wipes, 384 Count
 There is a $3 off coupon you can clip located under the list price and coupon combined with subscribe and save making these $7.39 for six packages of wipes ($1.23 a package or just under $0.02 a wipe!).

There is also a 50% off Seventh Generation Personal Baby Coupon making Seventh Generation Diaper Cream, 3 Ounce only $4.13 (this is an add-on item so not applicable for subscribe & save and must be added to a purchase of $25 or more).

There is also a $3 off Nature's Baby Organics coupon, making for some inexpensive baby shampoo, oils, diaper ointments, etc. as shown below.


Nature's Baby Organics Organic Diaper Ointment Cream, Fragrance Free, 3-Ounce Tube would be $4.40 with coupon and subscribe and save option.
Nature's Baby Organics Silky Dusting Powder, Fragrance Free, 4-Ounce Container would be $4.96 with coupon (This is an add-on option so no subscribe & save option so must add to a qualifying purchase of $25 or more).
Nature's Baby Organics Shampoo & Body Wash, Vanilla Tangerine, 8-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 2) would be $9.14 with coupon and subscribe & save option, making each bottle $4.07! Great for adding to baby shower gift baskets.

You can find more Baby and Child Care Coupons here and here on amazon.

Hope you find some great deals! And if you're interested in more posts like this please leave me a comment below.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cookies n' Creme Torte (Dairy-free, Gluten-free)

Made in a pie pan, this torte recipe really looks like a large oreo with the top removed. Perfect to bring to early summer barbecues and to share (if you can).



For a real oreo taste, use cocoa processed with alkali. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder (found at some grocery stores or on amazon) works great and makes for a very dark fudge. This time I used raw cocoa powder which is still delicious but doesn't quite have that oreo-like taste.

This torte has three layers - the crust, the fudge, and the whipped coconut cream.

(P.S. If you are a good little chef and put your recipe in the fridge before you eat it then your whipped coconut crème won't puddle but a very pregnant lady couldn't wait for her bite of chocolate amazingness and ate it straight from making it... Just a word to the wise and patient)

Cookies n' Creme Torte
Crust
1 cup pecans
3 TB cocoa powder
3 TB coconut oil
6 large dates

Fudgy Layer
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey for paleo version) + 1 TB
1 tsp vanilla extract of Seeds out of 1/3 vanilla bean (save remainder seeds for whipped coconut crème)
As pictured below


Whipped Coconut Crème
Seeds from 2/3 of a vanilla bean (or use 2 tablespoon vanilla extract)
1 can heavy coconut milk (or Trader Joe's coconut crème), left in cool area or fridge overnight
2-3 TB agave nectar, powdered sugar, or stevia drops

Instructions
1. Process crust ingredients in food processor until a sandy texture. Press into pie plate or spring-form tart pan.
2. Process fudgy layer ingredients in food processor until completely smooth. Pour over crust and refridgerate.
3. Meanwhile, make the whipped coconut crème: Scoop out crème from the top of the can. There should be quite a bit with a little bit more coconut water in bottom (save this to extend coconut crème or for smoothies). In large mixing bowl, beat coconut milk on high until whipped. Add vanilla and sweetener to taste and continue whipping. Pour on top of fudge layer and refridgerate.

ENJOY!




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blueberry Basil Smoothie

This refreshing number is one tasty little treat. Perfect for the hot summer days coming!


This may sound weird at first. But trust me, the blueberry and basil combination is just wonderful. This was one of my favorite drinks last summer and I couldn't wait for warmer weather and fresh basil to make it again!

Full of antioxidants and refreshing basil, this smoothie will tame any hot day!

Below is one of my pictures of the smoothie last year - one for Big Blue Eyes and one for moi. For the greens, I used marshmallow leaves hence the beautiful little marshmallow flower that is nestled into the lovely purple below. Using marshmallow leaves was inspired by a book I read by Sergei Boutenko called Wild Edibles: A Practical Guide to Foraging, with Easy Identification of 60 Edible Plants and 67 Recipes. I went to his talk at my local health food store (mentioned in this previous post) and was really intrigued by eating local weeds. By the way, I still have a signed book of his to raffle off! I don't know why but I've been saving it for something. How about we have a raffle this month with some fun prizes?




Blueberry Basil Smoothie
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla is good! Or use coconut water for replenishing electrolytes)
2 large handfuls baby kale or other greens
Several sprigs of basil (the more the merrier to me)
1 cup grapes (optional)

Makes 2 servings.

For protein you can also add a large scoop of almond butter! I sometimes do this for a meal substitution and drink the whole thing.

Blend everything together and enjoy!

If you want another herbal+fruit concoction, try our chamomile cantaloupe smoothie on the blog!


I just want to pop in here Happy Birthday to my lovely sister whom I admire and adore. Hope your day is bright and full of joy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Banana Cake with Berries (gluten, nut, soy, dairy and cane sugar free)

Happy Easter!

Need a recipe for Easter morning or dessert? This recipe makes great use of over-ripe bananas. The healthy cake can even be made the night before for a better, sweeter flavor!


A little coconut flour goes a long way. It certainly doesn't behave like other flours but I love what it does when combined with pumpkin or banana. I've subscribed to Nutiva brand coconut flour on amazon and that way I never run out!

For a fluffier and lighter variation on the cake: Try separating the yolks from the egg whites and beating the egg whites until fluffy with the cream of tartar. Combine remaining ingredients in separate bowl. Then spoon egg whites in rest of batter and bake.

If you're looking for a vegan banana cake recipe, try the Chai-spiced Banana Breakfast Cake here on the blog. It's super delicious and egg-free!

This recipe was inspired by Coconut Banana Breakfast Cake in Nourishing Meals: Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family, one of my favorite cookbooks.



Banana Cake with Berries
3/4 cup coconut flour (I used Nutiva brand)
2 TB flaxseeds
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda              > instead of using tartar and baking soda, try 2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (optional and may substitute 1 tsp nutmeg if avoiding cinnamon but want spice)

1 TB vanilla extract
8 eggs
4 very ripe bananas
3 TB coconut oil (melted)

Berries and Whipped Coconut Cream to serve (optional)
*For sweeter variation, add 3-4 TB maple syrup or other liquid sweetener to batter.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9x13" pan or two round cake pans or muffin pan.
2. Combine first six ingredients in mixing bowl. Mash bananas and combine remaining four ingredients in separate mixing bowl.
3. Combine batters and pour into pans. Bake 30-40 minutes or until the middle of the cake is no longer jiggly.
Enjoy!

And Happy Easter to you all! God's not dead! Hallelujah!

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